2011 – New Obstretic Theatre

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The aim:

To build and equip a dedicated Obstetric Theatre so as to help the hospital reduce the high instances of unnecessary maternal mortality.

Why the need?

Africa as a whole, and the Gambia in particular, have long suffered from the destructive effects of high maternal death rates during child birth. In these largely subsistence economies, there is no social safety net to support families who lose mothers in this way. The ramifications of such tragedies are far reaching and persistant. It is for this reason that 193 nations from around the world have made improving maternal health a core objective of the Millenium Development Goals.

The BHA has long been committed to achieving these same goals; the opening of a dedicated Obstetric Theatre is a critical step to doing just that.

The project;

The new Obstetric Theatre was built in an area of the hospital that had originally served as a dilapidated office for nursing staff. The original space was not adequate for the theatre’s requirements, thus necessitating the outward extension of the building, along with the fitting of a brand new roof. Alongside these structural changes, a huge amount of new operating theatre equipment was required. The costs involved were far more than the BHA could absorb from its usual funding – and so it was with great relief that the following sponsors came forward with a total of more than £32,000 in funding.

  • Dr Theo & Mathilde Keller & friends (Switzerland)
  • Linda Whilton (Spain)
  • Linda & Terry Nicholson & friends (France)
  • The Three Cranes Pub, Cransley
  • The Rotary Club of Brentwood-a-Becket
  • The Rotary Club of Seaford

The pictures below show how the project progressed (click on an image to expand)

  • The reason for building the first purpose built obstetric theatre
  • Anita & Sanneh in amongst the wooden supports (August, 2010)
  • Beginning the construction - August 2010
  • August 2010 - view from the outside of the staff toilets/scrub room
  • Constructing the recovery room and the patient toilets/shower (November, 2010)
  • November, 2010 - construction continues in the main theatre
  • January, 2011 - Dr Sophie and other BH staff in the obstetric theatre
  • Glass blocks allow natural light in and no maintenance
  • Chris Payne with his low-tech resuscitation unit
  • March, 2011 - all of the equipment is now in place
  • Glostavent anaesthetic machine - funds donated by Dr Theo & Mathilde Keller (Switzerland) & the Rotary Club of Jersey
  • All work completed by the in house maintenance team.

What has the project achieved?

The quality and variety of equipment as well as this theatre’s closer proximity to the Female Ward will undoubtedly have a hugely beneficial impact upon emergency care in this critical part of the hospital. Statistics of the exact impact will follow in due course.

Funding status:

As with other high use areas of the hospital, there is always a constant need for new equipment. Any donations that you make will go towards serving these high priority needs. You can make a donation by clicking here.